Berry Academy.

first_img Customers can buy ready-picked berries at Georgia strawberry farms but often opt for lower prices by picking their own. Photo: Faith Peppers Bucking a trend that has hundreds of acres of Georgia farmland moving from cultivation to subdivisions each day, Abe Banks took part of his 21 acres that was zoned for housing and turned it into a pick-your-own strawberry farm.The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that over the past five years, Georgia lost about 500 acres a day of farmland to home and business development. Banks worked with his Houston County neighbors to change land-use agreements so he and his family could grow strawberries. Those neighbors are now some of their best customers.And the Bankses should have plenty of customers this year.Strawberry Crop Good For ripe, sweet strawberries in Georgia, just look on the World Wide Web or ask at your county Extension office for the strawberry farm nearest to you. But for Abe Banks, growing strawberries is about more than making money. Banks has been tempted to sell the land. Developers could fit about 20 houses where he has his 40 rows of strawberries. But he won’t sell. The 2-acre field reminds him of the Fayetteville, Ga., farm where he grew up.”All the lessons you learn on a farm are the type of things you’ve got to have to get ahead in life,” he said.Banks teaches basic life skills to his 5-year-old daughter Sara, like learning to follow directions while looking for ripe strawberries to pick. “Red, head to toe?” she asked. “Show me,” he coached. “Red, head to toe. Let’s find another one.”Unique Berry FarmBanks bought 12 acres of the land at an auction. Later he added 9.5 acres more. Now surrounded almost entirely by houses, he has an unlikely spot for 37,500 strawberry plants to call home.”The Bankses’ farm is really unique,” Krewer said. “It’s a type of reverse urbanization.”Like many of today’s Georgia farmers, the Bankses have other jobs, too. He is an engineering manager at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. His wife Janet is an operating-room nurse at a Macon hospital.To find the strawberry farm nearest you, check the Web site at or contact your county Extension Service office. Photo: FaithPeppers “The crop is looking good,” said Gerard Krewer, a University of Georgia Extension horticulturist. “The season is just starting in north Georgia, and it’s been under way in south Georgia for several weeks.”Georgia’s climate usually makes for a long season for good berries. “If it stays cool, they can last in north Georgia until July 4,” Krewer said. “In south Georgia, it usually winds down in early to mid-June. This is the peak season, so now is the time to go pick.”Berry pickers will see attactive prices for the vine-ripened fruit. Prices average $6 to 7 per gallon across the state.”Strawberries are an expensive crop to grow,” Krewer said. “But growers can get a pretty good return on their investment.” Strawberries cost about $5,000 per acre to plant, but can gross over $15,000 per acre if nature cooperates. Georgia’s 50 growers usually bring in about $3 million per year.More Than Making Money Life’s lessons are fun and sweet in the strawberry-patch “school.” Photo: Joe Coursonlast_img read more

Perfect forecast for Arkansas Spring Nationals at Batesville

first_imgBATESVILLE, Ark. – You couldn’t ask for better weather for this weekend’s Arkansas Spring Nationals at Batesville Motor Speedway.IMCA Modifieds run for $1,500 to win and Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot berths Friday and Saturday, March 23 and 24. Both features pay $1,000 to the runner-up. Mini­mum start money is $150, non-qualifiers earn “B” money and IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Jet Racing Cen­tral Region, Arkansas State and track points will be awarded.The pit gate opens at 4 p.m., the grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m., hot laps are at 7 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30 p.m. each night.Spectator admission is $10 for adults and free for kids ages 14 and under. Pit passes are $30.An open practice will be from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday, March 22. Pit passes that evening are $20.Overnight accommodations are available by calling the Ramada Inn at 870 698-1800 or the Holiday Inn Express at 870 698-2700.Additional information about Arkansas Spring Nationals is available by calling 870 251-0011, at the website or by emailing [email protected]last_img read more

Black not surprised by Salva’s impressive night: ‘I’m used to him rising up in big games’

first_imgWill you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title “I just have to take what they’re giving. First game, I only had one shot because I had no looks. I’m not looking to take the most shots, but I’m just looking to do whatever the team needs whether it be rebounds, defense, hustle and if I have a shot, I’ll shoot.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Meralco swingman Nico Salva’s career-high tying 20-point outing against Alaska on Tuesday night certainly came as a bolt from the blue in Game 2 of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew SEA Games: Rogen Ladon enters flyweight boxing semis PLAY LIST 03:42SEA Games: Rogen Ladon enters flyweight boxing semis03:11SEA Games 2019: PH’s Ian Bautista boxing bantamweight semi final (HIGHLIGHTS)03:00SEA Games 2019: PH’s Aira Villegas boxing bantamweight semi final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Donaire: If I can land my best punches, I can stop Zolani Tete Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew The 28-year-old Salva, who bounced around the league after being selected as a late second round pick by GlobalPort (now NorthPort) in the 2013 PBA Rookie Draft, owed his offensive outburst to his teammates especially to prolific import Allen Durham.“It helps that who I’m with on the floor were threats. Of course, they have to choose and most of the AD is there so they have two or three guys in there to guard him. Mostly kickouts from AD, then rotation and ball swing I get open,” Salva said.Salva scored half of his points in the third quarter that kept the Bolts within striking distance after the Aces took a 20-point lead.“I don’t know the final score of Nico Salva but it felt like he made every single shot that he took today. Nico was huge for them. I actually took a timeout to kinda yell at our guys and go, ‘I’m tired of Nico Salva just lighting us up. Are we going to rotate on the shooter or are we just going to let him shoot?” Compton said.Salva hopes to sustain his form in the pivotal Game 3 on Thursday night.ADVERTISEMENT Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Salva’s impressive performance was almost a surprise to everyone but his head coach Norman Black, who had seen it way too many times before.“I coached him in college so I’m kinda used to him being able to rise up in big moments, big games,” said Black.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“He really helped us out with his perimeter shooting tonight and hope he can continue in the future games. We need other guys also to step up in this series similar to the way how he stepped up tonight,” he added.Salva was a key figure in the Ateneo Blue Eagles team that won five straight championships from 2008 to 2012 with Black at the helm. Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal View commentslast_img read more